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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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Bomber Command Crest
08/09.04.1940 No. 12 OTU Battle I P2273 P/O. M.E.F. Barnett

Operation: Training

Date: 08/09. April 1940 (Monday/Tuesday)

Unit: No. 12 Operational Training Unit (6 Group)

Type: Fairey Battle I

Serial: P2273

Code: -

Base: RAF Benson, Oxfordshire

Location: Ewelme, Oxfordshire

Pilot: P/O. Michael Edward Fulton Barnett 36235 RAF Age 18. Killed


Taking off from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire at 23:10 to carry out circuits and landings.

The pilot climbed to 500-500 feet but swung to the right before losing height nd cashing with the aircraft catching fire when it hit the ground in Ewelme village. He was the youngest (declared) pilot within Bomber Command to lose his life during the war.

Born in London, England but educated in New Zealand where he also qualified as a pilot with the RNZAF before joining the RAF on a short service commission in 1939.

Burial details:

P/O. Michael Edward Fulton Barnett. Benson Churchyard Extension (St Helen). Grave Row C. Grave 6. Born on the 24th April 1921 in London England, the son of Dr. Geoffrey Michael Fulton Barnett and Flora Annie Barnett (née Chalmers), of 83 Stafford Street, Dunedin, New Zealand. He had one brother and three sisters. A total of 176 flying hours logged with 29 on the Battle. His older brother, W/Cdr. Denis Hensley Fulton Barnett 05167 RAF (shown right) was the Commanding Officer of No. 40 Squadron during 1940. He later went on to become Air Chief Marshal KBE. CBE. DFC. MiD. Born on the 11th February 1906 and passed away on the 31st December 1992 age 86.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Stephen Potts for grave photograph, other sources as quoted below:

KTY 25.11.2018

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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